Prepare to step back in time at this incredible special exhibition of Ramses the Great at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. An immersive exhibit, the walls, floors and ceilings feel as if you have stepped into one of the great tombs in Egypt!
Pharoah Ramses the Great, also often referred to as Ramses II, took the throne in 1279 and ruled until he died at about age 90! One of the most powerful of all the Egyptian Pharaohs, he was eager to boast about it, also. Many of the most incredible statues, temples and monuments of the era we built under his direction and to him and his family! One of the really interesting things I learned was just how many he “remade”, as in took an older statue or someone and had it made over to look like him! Imagine if one of our current leaders said, “Washington’s been on Mount Rushmore long enough, let’s put me up there instead!”!
There’s also much about Ramses the Great’s first Great Queen, Nefertari! She was amazing, and it’s incredible to realize that back in Ancient Egypt women had many of the same rights as men, such as they could own land! When Nefertari died, after giving birth to 7 sons, all of which Ramses outlived, she was entombed into one of the greatest tombs ever built! Unfortunately, grave robbers plundered her tomb and took everything but a knee! REally! Last year we saw the Queen Nefertari exhibit in Fort Worth, and they actually had the knee on exhibit, although no one knows if it was actually hers. It was such a great exhibit though, and I’ve been looking forward to this one since then!
Speaking of those dang grave robbers, they also hit Ramses, and you can learn how and where they found him at the exhibit, too!
If your kiddos love mummies, there are a lot on exhibit, especially animals! In fact, it was really interesting to learn that mummification was big business in ancient Egypt, and the wealthy, of which there were a lot thanks to Ramses, would have their pets mummified!
Here’s a tip. Each room of the exhibit has very, very knowledgeable volunteers there just waiting to answer questions for you! They will give you so much more information than just the audio guide! Don’t pass up the chance to listen to them! Ask them questions! Let your kids ask them questions! That’s why they are volunteering to be there!
The exhibit will run through May 23rd, so go see it before it’s gone!
As an add-on, don’t miss out on the VR exhibit, Ramses and Nefertari, journey to Osiris. You’ll sit in an egg-shaped chair and don on your VR headgear to meet Nefertari as she tries to be reunited with Ramses.
Of course, the Houston Museum of Natural Science has an incredible Hall of Ancient Egypt in their permanent collection, and it’s all on exhibit, too! My 14-year-old son loves it now, but not so many years ago he ran out crying after his sister told him the mummies were all going to eat him, so we always enjoy reminding him of that! A fun little bit of gossip, the museum’s permanent mummy, Anhk Hap, who was a tax collector for Ramses II, is said to be active in the museum at night, and is a little jealous of the attention his Pharoah has been receiving since the exhibit opened.
Also, the Burke Baker Planetarium at the HMNS presents Stars of the Pharaohs, a look at the night sky 6,000 years ago and how they were used by the Egyptians.
The Wortham Giant Screen Theater at the museum also shows Mummies 2D: Secrets of the Pharoahs, so be sure to check their calendar before your visit!
Want to learn more about Ramses? Read the Anne Rice novel, Ramses the Damned (1989). So many words but they’re all so good!
Here’s another tip for you, try those little corny-dogs at the snack bar, they’re really good.
Know Before You Go
Parking is available in the parking garage or FREE parking is available along the road. We arrived at 1:30 and were able to get a FREE parking spot without a problem on a weekday.
Tickets are timed, but you can stay as long as you like, so arrive early to have time to see everything. Museum admission is included in your ticket price.
Once inside the exhibit, you can not come and go, so visit the restroom first.
Photography is allowed without a flash.
Houston Museum of Natural Science
5555 Hermann Park Dr., Houston
Click HERE to visit their website.
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